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Adult age differences in categorization and multiple-cue judgment


Mata, Rui; von Helversen, Bettina; Karlsson, Linnea; Cüpper, Lutz (2012). Adult age differences in categorization and multiple-cue judgment. Developmental Psychology, 48(4):1188-1201.

Abstract

We often need to infer unknown properties of objects from observable ones, just like detectives must infer guilt from observable clues and behavior. But how do inferential processes change with age? We examined young and older adults' reliance on rule-based and similarity-based processes in an inference task that can be considered either a categorization or a multiple-cue judgment task, depending on the nature of the criterion (binary vs. continuous). Both older and young adults relied on rule-based processes in the multiple-cue judgment task. In the categorization task, however, the majority of older adults relied on rule-based processes while young adults preferred similarity-based processes. Moreover, older adults who relied on rule-based processes performed poorly compared with young adults who relied on the same process, suggesting that aging is associated with deficits in applying rule-based processes.

Abstract

We often need to infer unknown properties of objects from observable ones, just like detectives must infer guilt from observable clues and behavior. But how do inferential processes change with age? We examined young and older adults' reliance on rule-based and similarity-based processes in an inference task that can be considered either a categorization or a multiple-cue judgment task, depending on the nature of the criterion (binary vs. continuous). Both older and young adults relied on rule-based processes in the multiple-cue judgment task. In the categorization task, however, the majority of older adults relied on rule-based processes while young adults preferred similarity-based processes. Moreover, older adults who relied on rule-based processes performed poorly compared with young adults who relied on the same process, suggesting that aging is associated with deficits in applying rule-based processes.

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14 citations in Web of Science®
16 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:July 2012
Deposited On:03 Mar 2017 09:25
Last Modified:09 Dec 2017 00:08
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0012-1649
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026084
PubMed ID:22059450

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